Fisker: Dog bites Karma

posted at 4:50 pm on March 9, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

The last time we checked in on our friends at Fisker, the news was less than sunny. The rising star in green technology, after receiving significant taxpayer funding, was laying off workers. And the vehicles they were going to build were being manufactured in Finland instead of providing jobs here in the United States. But on the bright side of things, at least they’re producing cars, right? (Assuming you can afford more than $100,000 for their flagship model, the Karma.)

You bet they are! In fact, they’re rolling off the lines now, and Consumer Reports picked one up off the showroom floor to put it through their usual battery of tests. Let’s see how that went, shall we? Before continuing reading this article, please take a moment to watch their very brief video report first. We pride ourselves on snark here at Hot Air, but this guy actually puts me to shame.

Our Fisker Karma cost us $107,850. It is super sleek, high-tech—and now it’s broken.

We have owned our car for just a few days; it has less than 200 miles on its odometer. While doing speedometer calibration runs on our test track (a procedure we do for every test car before putting it in service by driving the car at a constant 65 mph between two measured points), the dashboard flashed a message and sounded a “bing“ showing a major fault. Our technician got the car off the track and put it into Park to go through the owner’s manual to interpret the warning. At that point, the transmission went into Neutral and wouldn’t engage any gear through its electronic shifter except Park and Neutral.

The story only gets worse from there. After shutting it off and letting it sit for a bit, they were able to restart it and engage the transmission in Drive. (Why does this suddenly sound suspiciously like my Windows operating system?) Sadly, that “fix” only lasted long enough for the car to make it “a few feet” before it took itself out of gear again, thereafter refusing to move. The dealership sent over a flatbed truck and returned it to its original home.

Your taxpayer dollars at work. But as Consumer Reports noted, you must admit… that’s one fine looking vehicle. If you just leave it sitting in the driveway, I bet your neighbors will be totally impressed.


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